Members of 15 year old Bobby Moore’s family were visibly upset leaving the Pulaski County Courthouse after Judge Wendell Griffen declared a mistrial. Jurors deliberated for parts of two days before telling the judge they could not reach a unanimous decision.
Prosecuting attorney John Johnson said afterward it’s difficult for jurors to separate the badge from the person. “It’s always going to be hard for a jury to convict a police. We have a defendant in this case who is trading on the good will that other excellent police officers have created in this community,” said Johnson.
Defense attorney Bill James said Josh Hastings is relieved, albeit temporarily, by the outcome. James dismissed claims made at trial by Moore’s teenage friends.
“They’re not telling the truth and my client was reasonable in what he did. He was acting as a police officer, he was doing his job. He got called there, he wasn’t there at four in the morning for no reason, he was there because it was his job. They were there because they were committing crimes,” said James.
At issue was whether or not Hastings fired recklessly into a car while responding to a report of vehicle break-ins. Experts testified the car was moving in reverse while Hastings says the car was coming towards him.
The judge scheduled a new trial for May 5th.